Well, today marks the first day of our new family project: energy saving in the house. 

Experts have long been arguing in various forms of media, from paper newspapers to online blogs, that appliances in the home use energy even when they are not plugged in. While no one in this house claims to be an “expert” at things such as the mighty home appliance, aside from sticking the occasional tongue into the light socket (just kidding!), it would be an interesting experiment, to see how much energy could be saved in 30 days by unplugging vs. just turning things off.

To get things started, allow me to say that we are avid, if not rabid, proponents of turning things off – constantly. Leaving lights on in the house, especially if no one is in the room, is considered bad. Things are expected to be turned off when no one is in the room, including lights, personal electronics, and any and all appliances that can be.

So, what will make this project different than everyday life? The fact that things are now not only going to be turned off, but unplugged as well. While not everything in the house will be unplugged – I can’t imagine a day without the refrigerator, unfortunately, and the results of leaving the freezer unplugged could be unpleasant, a conscious effort will be made to unplug, turn off, and generally “power down” anything that is not 100% in use by those in the household.

Does this project include only unplugging things? No, of course not. While that is the basis for the project, other things will have to take place, such as making sure the windows and doors are  completely shut when the air conditioning is on (I say that with good humor, considering the summertime weather), installing low-flow showerheads and aerators in faucets, converting as many traditional light bulbs (if not all) to CFL bulbs, watching the use of appliances that must stay plugged in, and other miscellaneous items that will be noted in this blog.

Also, health and safety trumps all. We are not about to risk heatstroke on days with a heat index in the triple-digits for an experiment in energy savings. A/C use will be heavily monitored and regulated, but there is a limit to what the human body can be expected to take in some situations.

As of 7:48AM EST this morning, the meter read 54606 kWh. I wonder what it will read in 30 days?